The Struggle Between Faith and Fear
By Jenn Milroy
Jesus said, “Come,” so Peter stepped over the side of the boat to do the impossible. He walked on water toward Jesus, but when he saw the strong wind and waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Immediately Jesus reached to grab him saying, “You have little faith, why did you doubt me?” (Matthew 14: 29-31)
It is easy to be an “armchair quarterback” as we read this – thinking about all the ways we could have done it better.
When the wind increased and Peter called on Jesus to save him, we wonder how could have Peter feared sinking while he was in the presence of the risen King. Surely he knew that Jesus could stop the wind and calm the waves. Certainly he knew that Jesus could carry him across the water. Peter must have known that his fear demonstrated a tremendous lack of faith.
This scenario plays out for us daily. Some days are an ordinary rhythm with to-do lists, shopping lists, soccer practice, music lessons, and homework. Other days are quite extraordinary – the life changing, earth shattering, or the quit-your-job-and-move-to-Africa variety.
Regardless of your season, Jesus calls you and me to “Come.” He whispers with outstretched arms, “Come to me. Abide in me. Trust me.“
Unfortunately, two thousand years later, many of us continue to respond like Peter. He had faith to take the first few steps, but the wind and waves triggered fear. Likewise, we can be quick to step out in faith responding to Christ’s call, only to allow the fear of failure, the fear of what others will think, or the fear of looking foolish to take our eyes off Jesus.
Once fear grasped Peter, he began to sink. What does sinking look like in your life? Is it distractions, feeling overwhelmed, a calendar that is loaded down with the wrong things, or the disease to please?
Faith and fear are mutually exclusive. Each time fear creeps in; imagine Jesus saying, just as he said to Peter, “Why did you doubt me?” and keep your eyes on Jesus. Just keep moving. Come to Him. Abide in Him. Trust in Him.